Perry mss., 1896-1961LMC 2375

Papers of Ralph Barton Perry at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Finding aid created by: Electronic finding aid encoded by Indiana University Libraries.

Creator Perry, Ralph Barton, 1876-1957
Title: Perry mss.
Dates: 1896-19611964
Quantity: 621 items
Abstract: The Perry mss., 1896-1961, consists of the writings, correspondence, and memorabilia of Harvard philosophy professor Ralph Barton Perry.
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Lilly Library

Biographical Note

Ralph Barton Perry (1876-1957) was a professor of philosophy at Harvard and a leading member of the school of New Realism.

Dr. Perry received his A.B. at Princeton University in 1896, his M.A. from Harvard in 1897, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1899. He began his career as an instructor of philosophy at Williams College from 1899-1900 and Smith College from 1900-1902 before moving to Harvard. He achieved full professorship at Harvard in 1913, where he worked until his retirement in 1946. Over the course of his career, he wrote 22 books, in addition to many edited volumes, articles, and collaborations with others. His two-volume biography of William James won a Pulitzer in 1936.

During the First World War, Dr. Perry served as a major in the US Army and executive secretary of the War Department Committee on Education and Special Training. During the Second World War, Dr. Perry was chairman of the American Defense Group of Harvard and chairman of the University's Committee on Post-War International Problems.

In 1905, he married Rachel Berenson, and they had two sons. His son Bernard Berenson Perry would go on to serve as the first director of the Indiana University Press.

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence series includes professional correspondence related to Perry's speaking engagements and publications, arranged chronologically from 1928-1961.

The writings series consists of drafts of speeches, notes, and articles, a great deal of it from the World War II period. It is arranged chronologically where possible. The longer works subseries contains book drafts, including Perry's unfinished autobiography and his unpublished book about Nazi ideology.

The memorabilia series includes awards and degrees, photographs, copies of Perry's published works, and newspaper clippings by and about Perry.


This collection is arranged into the following series: I. Correspondence, II. Writings, and III. Memorabilia.


Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Subject Headings


Perry, Ralph Barton, 1876-1957


Nazi Holocaust


National socialism

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], Perry mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Acquisition Information

Gift: 1964

Table of Contents




box 1 1928-1940
box 1 1941
box 1 1942, January-June
box 1 1942, July
box 1 1942, August-September
box 1 1942, October-December
box 1 1943, January-May
box 1 1943, June-November
box 1 1944, January-May
box 1 1944, June-November
box 2 1945
box 2 1946
box 2 1947-1948
box 2 re: Alfred North Whitehead 1948-1955
box 2 1949-1950
box 2 1951, January-July
box 2 1951, August-December
box 2 1952-1954
box 2 1955
box 2 1956-1961
box 2 No date
Writings, 1896-1955
box 3 Beatrix: A character study... 1896, March 27
box 3 Notes from Bible--John 1901?
box 3 February 9. Day of prayer for colleges; March 9. Intercession 1902
box 3 The universities in war time 1918, February 1
box 3 1919
box 3 June 18. Morale in peace-time (commencement address--Connecticut College for Women)
box 3 September 26. The scholar in war time (speech before the graduate school)
box 3 Issues of the presidential election, Nov. 1920 [1920]
box 3 1927
box 3 April 22. Our intellectual inheritance (Phi Beta Kappa address--Grinnell College)
box 3 The essence of individualism
box 3 Miscellaneous notes for western trip, including "Age of publicity" and "Broadcasting education"
box 3 Zeal (Chapel) 1928, February 11
box 3 Tradition (address at Burnham School) 1929, June.
box 3 The age of literacy (Smith College) 1932, June 20
box 3 1933
box 3 January 17. The values of scholarship (Phi Beta Kappa luncheon, Berkeley)
box 3 September 30. Chapel
box 3 Personal traits of William James (Lecture, delivered Poughkeepsie, May 8 and before the Harvard Psychological Colloquium, October 30, 1935) 1935, May 8
box 3 1935? Notes and printed excerpts re: Harvard University
box 3 1935-1936? Notes and printed materials about the University of Chicago
box 3 1936
box 3 January 13. Moral athleticism: an aspect of the Puritan code (lecture given at University of Chicago)
box 3 June 5. Bancroft School
box 3 December 30. American philosophy in the first decade of the twentieth century (paper read before the American Philosophical Association)
box 3 1938
box 3 December. The new idolatry (Phi Beta Kappa address)
box 3 William James--a militant liberal
box 3 1939
box 3 [February 12] Lincoln's birthday
box 3 February 23. Limits of tolerance
box 3 November 18. Philosophical roots of totalitarianism (Philadelphia)
box 3 November 29. The danger of taking democracy for granted (radio speech)
box 3 1940
box 3 February 27. Individualism in American philosophy (Princeton lecture)
box 3 March 19. Individualism in American philosophy (Wellesley, and University of Illinois, April 1940)
box 3 April-May. Notes for letters to editors, etc.
box 3 May 17. New York, Hotel Pennsylvania [after-dinner speech?]
box 3 June 12 (publication date). Letter to the editor, Boston Evening Transcript
box 3 August 20. American defense (Concord, N.H.)
box 3 August 30. American defense (Franklin, N.H.)
box 3 September 22. Defend America now (New York Times editorial page)
box 3 [October 21] Country above party
box 3 November 9. America first? (remarks before Foreign Policy Association)
box 3 November 9. One nation (statement for release November 9)
box 3 November 18. The purposes of American defense--Harvard Group (Christian Science Monitor)
box 3 November. Value and science (first draft)
box 3 November. Value and science (a.k.a. the science of value)
box 3 [November] The value of science (2 revisions)
box 3 December. America and the war situation (Pulse article)
box 3 Liberty in a democratic state (published in Freedom: its meaning, Harcourt, Brace, 1940)
box 3 1941
box 3 January 7. The meaning of morale (paper read in Pasadena)
box 3 February 11. One nation (radio address, WRUL)
box 3 February 15? Alfred, Evelyn, and Jessie Whitehead (speech on Alfred Whitehead's birthday)
box 3 February 25. Broadcast
box 3 March 8. National sharecroppers week--luncheon
box 3 May 21. The challenge of democracy (Students' Defense League)
box 3 May. Citizenship: its duties and its alibis (speech given at General Council, National League of Women Voters)
box 3 June 14. Princeton '96
box 3 June 24. Letter to the editor, New York Times, published June 29
box 3 June 29. The meaning of morale (delivered before the Association of Secondary Teachers, Boston)
box 3 June. Education for citizenship in a democracy (speech)
box 3 June. On all fronts (as given at the New England Industrial Nurses Association, Boston) [also delivered July 13 at International House]
box 3 [summer] Review for Virginia Quarterly
box 3 October 4. The values we defend (St. Louis)
box 3 October 7. Boston conference on distribution: program and time schedule
box 3 October 24. Conservation of human resources (University of Kentucky, Ed. Conf.)
box 3 October 24. National morale (2 different pieces, with same date and title)
box 3 October 30. National morale (Educational Records Bureau)
box 3 November 11. Harvard at war (broadcast, WURL)
box 3 November 16. Free world protest meeting: revised program and The call of humanity (symphony hall)
box 3 November 20. WMEX
box 3 November 23. What freedom means or freedom for all (Freedom Day)
box 3 December 8. University mass meeting--Sanders Theater
box 3 December 23. Freedom in a democratic state (WEII radio broadcast)
box 3 December 29. If William James were alive today (American Philosophical Association)
box 3 Conservation of human resources [article?]
box 3 Education for democracy [article]
box 3 New liberties for old (as published in Yale Review, Winter 1941
box 3 Rachel Berenson Perry: May 2, 1880-October 23, 1933 (for Radcliffe Alumnae Association, April 1941)
box 3 1942
box 3 January 20. William James (Inter-faith Fellowship, Boston)
box 3 February 19. Morale and propaganda (National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls)
box 3 [February?] Pearl Harbor, before and after
box 3 March 1. Democracy at the cross roads (lecture in memory of Winthrop Ames)
box 3 April 15. International student service
box 3 April 18. Address to the freshman class
box 3 May 9 & 13. Democracy at the cross roads (Skidmore College and University of Cincinnati) [see also 1942, March 1]
box 3 May 17. I am an American [radio broadcast?]
box 3 May 20. The rights and wrongs of propaganda (Nieman fellows--War Institute)
box 3 June 5. St. Marks School, Southborough, Mass.
box 3 June 19. The challenge: German ideology and purposes (WRUL)
box 3 July 31. A bridge to Russia (New York Times)
box 3 August 2. Should we discuss the next peace now (University of Chicago Round Table, N.Y.)
box 3 September 4. Education for a world order (International Student Assembly, Washington, D.C.)
box 3 September 24. New York Harvard Club
box 3 September 26. Address to transfer students--Harvard
box 3 October 6. Education for world citizenship (League of Women Voters, Cambridge)
box 3 October 7. Does post-war planning interfere with the war effort (Harvard Council)
box 3 October 26. For the common cause (Address to the Canadian Club, Montreal)
box 3 October. What sort of world do we want? [for Cosmopolitan?]
box 3 November 7. Congress of American Soviet Friendship (New York)
box 3 November 9. For what are we fighting? (Council on Foreign Relations, Providence, R.I.)
box 3 November 10. To the editor of the New York Times (printed November 15 as "Need of unity held stronger now than ever before")
box 3 November 11. Post-war problems now--Does post-war planning interfere with the war effort (University of Maine) [see also: 1942, October 7]
box 3 November 15. Our common cause (Victory Council of Jewish Youth, Boston)
box 3 December 13. Till hope creates (Colby College)
box 3 [1942?] Propaganda (University of Kentucky?)
box 4 1943
box 4 January 20. Conflict of ideas and ideals in the present world (Church Service League, Boston)
box 4 February 1. Post-war planning now (Salem Chamber of Commerce)
box 4 February 5. Letter to the editor, New York Times (printed February 7 as "Talk of post war settlement seen as present need")
box 4 February 5. Post-war planning now (Reading) [League of Women Voters? similar to, but not the same as, February 1 address]
box 4 February 13. American-Soviet friendship: an invitation to agreement (intercollegiate forum on the Soviet Union, Northampton, Mass.)
box 4 February 19. Democratic world order (Pan-American Society of Massachusetts)
box 4 February 27. Directed gradualism (Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, New York)
box 4 March 14. Building the post-war world (Unitarian ministry to students, Boston)
box 4 April 6. What does it mean to "win the peace"? (Dutch Treat Club, New York)
box 4 April 12. Democracy at the cross roads (Trinity Church Men's Club)
box 4 April 20. Radcliffe--freshman class
box 4 April 28. The strategy of peace (Mt. Holyoke College)
box 4 May 8. Winning the peace (New England Modern Language Association, Boston)
box 4 May. What price freedom (article, Free World, May 1943)
box 4 June 17. Winning America (printed in New York Times, June 20, 1943, as "Isolation and selfishness held no way to win peace")
box 4 June 22. Basis of agreement with Soviet Russia (Easton, Pennsylvania)
box 4 August 12. To the editor of the New York Times--The limits of intervention (printed August 15, 1943, as "Self-determination held to involve responsibilities")
box 4 September 12. Round table outline [University of Chicago]
box 4 September 14. Lowell House [re: William James]
box 4 September 22. Officers' wives study group [re: ideology]
box 4 October 8. Letter to the editor, New York Times (printed October 10, 1943 as "Peace agreements")
box 4 October 22. The enduring values of American democracy (Hunter College)
box 4 October 29. Influence of the universities on future world peace (Association of American Universities, Bloomington, Indiana)
box 4 November 11. Moral foundations of the post-war world (New Brunswick, New Jersey and New Jersey Teachers College, November 12, 1943)
box 4 November 18. Why we give to Soviet Russia (speech, Worchester)
box 4 November 21. Together in war--together in peace (speech, St. Louis)
box 4 November 24. The enduring values of American democracy [not the same as the October 22 item]
box 4 December 4. Developing understanding of America's place in 'One World' (joint conference: New England History Teachers Association, and New England Council for Social Studies, Boston)
box 4 December 21. To the editor of Commonweal (printed January 1944 issue)
box 4 Observations on Congress (to the editor of the New York Times) [printed February 20, 1944 as "Views on Congress"]
box 4 1943? Unidentified writings and fragments
box 4 1944
box 4 January 8. Catholicism and modern liberalism (American Catholic Philosophical Association, Boston)
box 4 January 27. The serviceman's education and training act of 1944--S.1509 (Radcliffe)
box 4 January. To the editor of the New York Herald Tribune
box 4 February 9. The editor of the Boston Globe (not accepted) [to the editor of the New York Herald Tribune, Feb. 19; printed Feb. 27, 1944]
box 4 February 18. Brotherhood or chaos (Temple Beth Israel, Boston)
box 4 March 4. Idealism in politics (commencement address, University of Pennsylvania)
box 4 March 11. Our relations with Soviet Russia (Fitchburg)
box 4 March 13. Fundamentals for peace (Newton League of Women Voters)
box 4 March 30. The moral issue in international affairs (New York Herald Tribune letter)
box 4 April 15. Education and the post-war world (opera broadcast, Boston)
box 4 April 22. The American citizen and the post-war world (Mademoiselle's College Forum, New York)
box 4 April 22. Mademoiselle's College Forum, cont. [papers by others]
box 4 May 7. Fundamentals for peace (East Greenwich)
box 4 May 15. To the editor of the New York Tribune
box 4 June 7. National policy for national crisis [New York Times letter, published June 11]
box 4 June 25. The moral foundations of world peace (Massachusetts Council of Churches; broadcast, WBZ)
box 4 September 26. Present confusion on international issues (to the editor of the New York Herald Tribune)
box 4 September. The citizen as statesman (Atlantic Monthly article)
box 4 October 3. To the editor of the New York Times
box 4 October. An American Program, Wendell L. Willkie [review, published New York Herald Tribune, October 22, 1944]
box 4 November 16. The thinking man in the post-war world (New England Council)
box 4 Fall. Statesmanship versus politics in the present election ("not accepted")
box 4 1945
box 4 January 2. What did you expect (New York Herald)
box 4 January 4. Dumbarton Oaks (published New York Times, January 7)
box 4 January 23. Diplomatic isolationism (to the editor of the New York Times)
box 4 April 10. Naval Communications School re: One World (speech--also delivered April 20: League of Women Voters, Hingham)
box 4 April 28. Tribute to Franklin D. Roosevelt (Harvard Alumni Bulletin)
box 4 October 10. The thinking citizen
box 4 October 15. To the editor of the New York Times
box 4 October 19. The problem of the thoughtful citizen (Nieman fellows)
box 4 November 5. Walter Bradford Cannon
box 4 November 13. Moral principles in United Nations agreement (outline only)
box 4 December 17. One World in the Making (Interfaith Fellowship)
box 4 1945. What does immortality mean? [published 1945 as The hope for immortality; first copyright, 1935 by the Hibbert Journal]
box 4 1946
box 4 January 23. LO! The poor president (to the editor of the New York Times, published Jan. 28)
box 4 January 31. Relations with our allies and in particular Soviet Russia (League of Women Voters) [see also April 1946 below]
box 4 February 11. How can we get along with Russia? (Joint Council for International Cooperation)
box 4 February 23. Distinctive contributions of philosophy to the issues of peace (American Philosophical Association)
box 4 April 4. American Soviet relations ("sent to..., ed. Soviet Russia Today")
box 4 April 10. Working with and through the UN as it stands (Wheaton College) [also Mademoiselle, April 13]
box 4 April 13. Mademoiselle Forum: world government (New York)
box 4 April 25. US & USSR
box 4 April. Getting along with Soviet Russia [mimeo copy of speech given before Mass. League of Women Voters, Jan. 31, 1946]
box 4 June 5. The meaning of morality (Radcliffe commencement) [2 versions]
box 4 June 11. Walter B. Cannon as citizen-scientist (Copley Plaza Hotel)
box 4 July 12. What is the good of science? (University of Michigan--summer lecture series)
box 4 October 17. The effect of democratic and totalitarian thought upon the humanistic tradition (Princeton)
box 4 1946? American Soviet relations [similar to April 4, 1946 item]
box 4 1947
box 4 April 30. The duty of the United States in the present international crisis (address, Wilson College Honors Convocation)
box 4 May 20. To the editor of the New York Times (draft--final version dated May 23)
box 4 December 8. William James CBBC "Third Programme" script, broadcast Dec. 24, 1947)
box 4 1947? Impressions of William James
box 4 1948
box 4 April. Reflections on the Marshall Plan
box 4 May 16. Democracy and public opinion (Williamstown conference)
box 4 July 5. Problems of Soviet-American understanding (Wellesley)
box 4 1949
box 4 April 12. Education and belief (Harvard Club of Southern California)
box 4 May 9. Public opinion in the present crisis (Los Angeles Town Hall)
box 4 October 29. Public opinion in the time of crisis (Cambridge, Mass.)
box 4 1950
box 4 March 10. The Enlightenment and the American idea of individual liberty (Barnard College--Intercollegiate Conference)
box 4 1950. Humanism and education (John Hay Whitney Foundation)
box 5 1951
box 5 March 15. To the editor of the New York Herald Tribune
box 5 August 15. Evidence of good faith (to the editor of the New York Times)
box 5 November 12. Toward a free world community (conference on world order, Rochester, N.Y.)
box 5 1952
box 5 June 6. Fiftieth anniversary of the class of 1902 (Smith College)
box 5 September 30. George Santayana (Lowell Institute Co-operative Broadcasting Council, Station MGBH)
box 5 The Americanism of William James (M.I.T.)
box 5 1953
box 5 December 10. Brandeis address
box 5 December. The spirit of Christmas
box 5 Art and aesthetics (Stanford)
box 5 The cultural sciences (Stanford)
box 5 General theory of value (Stanford)
box 5 The meaning of morality (Stanford)
box 5 Polity and political science (Stanford)
box 5 The values of religion (Stanford)
box 5 Royce (Wellesley)
box 5 Santayana (Wellesley lectures)
box 5 Whitehead (Wellesley lectures) [including notes and printed materials about Whitehead and Perry's notes for lecture]
box 5 1954
box 5 March 15. Freedom--for what? (New York, Civil Liberties Foundation lecture)
box 5 April 16. Invitation to learning: Galileo
box 5 April? Joseph Wood Krutch, The measure of man... (review, published Nation, April 19)
box 5 May 18. Letter to the editor, New York Times
box 5 September 7. Letter to the editor, Boston Globe
box 5 Universal military training--notes 1955?
box 5 Before 1925
box 5 Short addresses
box 5 [Speech]
box 5 [Article?]
box 5 [Paper]
box 5 Patriotic essays
box 5 "The conservative influence of college experience"
box 5 "The dignity of human life"
box 5 "Disputation"
box 5 [Essay]
box 5 "The neighborhood political club"
box 5 "The opportunity of service"
box 5 "Progress in philosophy"
box 5 "Sweets corners"
box 5 "Silas Stafford..."
box 5 "Teaching and being taught"
box 5 [Notes from popular speeches]
box 5 Miscellaneous (4 folders)
box 5 After 1925
box 5 Academic freedom
box 5 Acheson's policy
box 5 Additional notes on liberty
box 5 Address in German
box 5 The atomic bomb
box 5 Christian love
box 5 Democracy
box 5 The drive for freedom (1930s?)
box 5 Education and world citizenship (lecture VII)
box 5 Excerpts for "If James were alive today" moral articles, etc.
box 5 From unneutrality to war: the purpose and motives of American policy [speech]
box 5 General appeal [re: American Defense, Harvard Group]
box 5 The golden rule
box 5 Half truths or the demobilized professor & other essays
box 5 Humanizing the system
box 5 Judaism
box 5 Language and democracy
box 5 The last shall be first
box 5 Liberty and tolerance
box 5 Memorandum for committee on liberal and humane tradition
box 5 The moral issue in international affairs
box 5 The moral issue in post-war policy
box 5 Morale [page 1 missing]
box 5 Morale and civilian defense
box 5 New York Times--to the editor
box 5 Notes--various subjects, including "propaganda, etc."
box 5 The philosophical roots (19th c) of totalitarianism: the new idolatry [general notes]
box 5 The physical world--object or cause
box 5 Present philosophical tendences--preface
box 5 Pride and self-criticism
box 5 The problem of national morale
box 5 The ordeal of democracy
box 5 Religious value
box 5 Remarks at Gottingen
box 5 The role of science in human policy
box 5 The salt and its savor
box 5 The spirit of modern philosophy. An essay in the form of lectures by Josiah Royce--introduction
box 5 Statement for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
box 5 Tolerance [radio]
box 5 The values of religion [not the same as the 1953 Stanford item]
box 5 The values we defend
box 5 War or peace
box 5 What is the good of religion
box 5 When is education liberal
box 5 Miscellaneous--fragments, notes, unidentified
box 5 Miscellaneous--quotations, anecdotes, etc.
Longer works and series
box 5 Uncompleted autobiography (9 folders)
box 5 The citizen decides: a guide to responsible thinking in time of crisis [Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1951] (3 folders)
box 6 Great American Thinkers
box 6 Introduction; general notes
box 6 Wise men--general
box 6 Jonathan Edwards (3 folders)
box 6 "Jonathan Edwards and his God"
box 6 Benjamin Franklin (3 folders)
box 6 Jefferson--notes
box 6 Jefferson--bibliography, outline
box 6 Jefferson--morality
box 6 Jefferson & Franklin
box 6 Jefferson--general philosophy
box 6 Jefferson--religion
box 6 Jefferson--politics
box 6 Jefferson--education, culture, science
box 6 Emerson
box 6 "Emerson and American Democracy" (2 folders)
box 6 Charles Pierce
box 6 William James (2 folders)
box 6 Josiah Royce
box 6 John Dewey (2 folders)
box 6 A Handbook on National Socialist Germany (unpublished, ca. 1941-1942) (7 folders)
box 6 On all fronts (New York: The Vanguard Press, 1941) (8 folders)
box 6 Our side is right (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1942) (5 folders)
box 6 Bibliographical notes and citations
box 6 Course syllabi and notes
Writings by others
box 6 Hartshorne, E.Y. "Memorandum on Army Morale"
box 6 Vlastos, Gregory. "Value and God--a definition of God in terms of value"
oversize 1 Awards and degrees
box 7 Further awards and degrees
box 7 Perry: portraits
box 7 Perry: group portraits
box 7 Perry, family, etc.
box 7 Bernard Berenson
box 7 Harvard philosophers
box 7 negatives
Printed memorabilia
box 7 Articles, reports, etc. by R.B. Perry
box 7 1902-1920
box 7 1921-1930
box 7 1931-1934
box 7 1935-1940
box 7 Reports 1938-1939
box 7 1941-1943
box 7 American Defense, Harvard Group 1942-1945
box 7 1944-1946
box 7 1947
box 7 1948-1950
box 7 1951-1954
box 7 No date
box 7 Newspaper clippings: book reviews by Perry
box 7 Harvard Alumni Bulletin editorials, 1935
box 7 Letters to the editor
box 7 Newspaper clippings--by Perry
box 7 Newspaper clippings--about Perry
box 7 Newspaper clippings--miscellaneous
box 7 Commencement and conference programs
box 7 Miscellaneous
box 7 1-7in. tape recording--unidentified
box 7 Original folders with lists of materials